Wednesday, June 27, 2012

HGTV DESIGN STAR EPISODE 5 RECAP


This week on Design Star we had to design individual lounge spaces for Hollywood's 125th Birthday party.  Yes, I said individual challenge.  Thank. God.  I have been pretty fortunate with my partnerships so far on the competition, but it does add to the stress level of the challenge, and I feel you often end up compromising  a bit of yourself as a team versus working on your own.  These types of individual challenge were exactly the reason why coming on Design Star was so appealing to me.  To been given a blank slate that I could do anything to without having to convince a client of my design plans and just roll with my own ideas is a designers dream come true. (Note to future clients... if you just want to give me your budget and tell me to 'go to town' I would be totally cool with that.)


Our lounge spaces needed to be designed to reflect a particular era in Hollywood's design history.  We selected our design styles at random, and at first I was beyond excited to have the Hollywood Regency style.  It is one of my favorite design styles, and perfect for the theme of this party in particular.  After my initial excitement, reality hit me.  I picked a style that was certainly in my wheelhouse (no excuses), and it's a Hollywood Regency for a Hollywood party... if I screw this up... I'm definitely going home.

We arrived at a Hollywood prop shop where we were given $ to spend on renting props.  This place was enormous... ridiculously enormous.  We only had 45 minutes to shop (it said 2 hours, but technically it was 15 minutes to navigate the store, 45 minutes to actually shop, and 1 hour to check out.)  On top of that, we were asked to stay in 3 groups because there were only 3 employees that were able to help us tag the items we wanted to rent.  WHAAAAAT?!!? You know we all just wanted to run wild throughout that store and call dibs on things all on our own, but no no, not today.  I was shopping with Danielle and Rachel, and good thing we all liked each other so we were good with sharing time shopping for each of our rooms.  If Luca was still around, this would have been a tragic experience.

At first I thought I was going to have an easy time with Hollywood Regency furniture because the style is so popular right now, but it was exactly the opposite.  Because it is so popular, most of the items I found were already tagged for pick up from real customers, or were checked out of the space entirely.  I was hoping to shop and find something inspiring to shape the rest of my ideas for the space.  Black and white are iconic of the time which was why I immediately chose to do my checkered floor... but pops of red and kelly green were big for my design era too, and I was crossing my fingers to find something that would allow me to add some color in the space.  But after shopping in the prop shop, it was clear that just wasn't happening.

After a few more failed attempts at furniture stores to find anything super inspiring, I had arrived into full panic hysteria mode.  Danielle, Rachel and I got into a hysterical laughing until we cry fit in the van at the end of day one.  I wished they would have shown this, because it was ridiculous.  We began to ask ourselves, "who signs up for this?!?! Here's a plywood and pipe structure, please design this immaculately in no time at all. Oh, and please give a presentation about it in front of hundreds of people afterwards. Thanks".  Madness.  Don't get me wrong, we were all happy to still be in the competition, but as designers, we know these are crazy time, money, and resource constraints we aren't used to, and none of us could have prepared for.  In the words of Hilari... "this is so whack."

Outside the competition and at the house, the final seven of us had all become really close.  Spending day after day with everyone where there is no tv, internet, music, or magazines, all we do in our time at the house is hang out with each other.  We developed nicknames for everyone as well as picked up on everyone's unique and quirky personality traits.  We called Kris "honey badger" for his impeccable impression of the popular YouTube video, Mikel was "Mary Poppins" because of his always positive personality and his HGTV bag stocked with snacks.  There was "Manly Stanley" for the obvious, Hilari's slogan was "this is whack", and Rachel was known for saying "duuuuude."  I was nicknamed "Hollywood", and known for my ever present "whaaaaaaaaaaat!?" comments. (Maybe you will notice these from here on out, trust me they were a good time.) Needless to say, none of us wanted to go home at this point, and it was going to be hard to say goodbye to anyone as well.

The second day of the challenge Danielle and I both had to go shopping for some key furniture pieces we were still missing.  I had one shot at the store we chose due to the time constraints and was in 'make it work' mode. Luckily they had everything I needed and we were able to get in and out pretty quickly. We even had time to stop by the florist to pick up flowers for our spaces too, which in our opinions, was an important element to party planning. In the last few hours of the challenge I had done a 180 in my mind.  I was starting to see everything come together and was absolutely loving it.  I had come from feeling like I could be going home, to realizing I might have a shot at winning the challenge.  I finished with time to spare and sat down in my space and started working on my camera challenge.  I knew I had a great space, but knew my camera challenge had to be equally solid to win.




My presentation actually went really well.  Those silly HGTV producers focused on the very small section where I flubbed on my words for a second, and the ominous music playing made it look much worse than it was.  I was really confident with my presentation but know that I do loose my smile or 'sparkle' towards the end and was hoping that didn't happen this week.  Overall, I was really pleased with how I did considering the limitations and my lack of experience with public speaking at large intimidating Hollywood parties.  We didn't get to stay and mingle at the party afterwards, and we were all really bummed about that.  We were aching to get feedback from the guests and have some time in a social setting outside the confines of our cast house.  Stanley was most disappointed we weren't able to attend the party, and by disappointed I mean raging mad about the situation.  It was like they dangled a carrot in front of him and took it away at the last minute.  Poor Stanley, he just wanted to party.  To make up for this, we were allowed to listen to music on the way home, and had a dance party in the van all by ourselves which involved a lot of Beyonce and hair swinging.


At evaluation they named Danielle the winner of the competition.  When they announced it, I felt as if someone sucker punched me in my stomach.  I was so confident in my space and my presentation, and at evaluation there were no real negative critiques from the judges.  I felt so dissapointed and helpless at that moment.  OMG I wanted to curl and a ball in hide last night when they showed me crying on national television.  We eat, sleep, breathe this competition and its all you do and think about, so it's beyond upsetting to continuously feel really confident about your spaces, but find that essentially its still not 'good enough' for a win.  I felt I had shown really strong designs so far in the competition along with great reviews at evaluations, I was becoming really confused at what the judges were looking for in order for me to win a challenge.  To say I felt defeated was an understatement.  I let Danielle know in that moment that my sadness did not mean I didn't think she deserved to win, or that her space wasn't beautiful, because it was.  It was me sad with the situation, and she 100% understood that.  We have all had expressed our ups and downs at the house with one another, and we know that this isn't something we take personal, its a design competition.

What I WAS excited about though, was that I had officially made it into the final 6 of Design Star! I could hardly believe it.  My goal coming onto the show was to not be the first to go home, and then to strive to make it into the final 6.  I had reached my first and second goal of the challenge, and now my third was to win it all! I was so happy that Rachel wasn't sent home this week.  Her and I had become very close, and I know she was much more talented than the victorian space allowed her to show.  I was still very sad to see Kris go, he is such a quirky and fun personality, and always made me laugh.  I knew we were all going to miss him, but knew he was going on to do big things in the design world.

Danielle's gorgeous Art Deco Lounge- Tonight's WINNER! 

Hilari's 80's Lounge- Single handedly made the 80's cool again

Mikel's Mid Century Contemporary Lounge- Full of his 'white on white' moments 

Rachel's Victorian Lounge- I love Rachel, and we both didn't love this room.

Stanley's Futuristic Lounge- Along with his custom phallic coffee table

Kris's 70's Lounge- Eliminated this week... we will miss you Honey Badger!

Tune in next week for the infamous kitchen challenge, where the final 6 work in teams of 2 to transform a white box into a dream kitchen space.  The Kitchen Cousins join us as the guest judges, and the winner will be published in an upcoming issue of HGTV Magazine.... HUGE prize for a designer.  Also remember to vote online for your FAN FAVORITE of the show...( hint...ME. ) http://www.hgtv.com/design-star-fan-vote/package/index.html

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

HGTV DESIGN STAR EPISODE 4 RECAP

It's challenge number 4 and before we left the house we were told to wear shoes we would want to wear outdoors.  So being the investigator I am, I knew this one was probably going to be an outdoor challenge.  Let me tell you, I am not a landscape designer by any means.  I have what you would call a 'brown thumb' and really don't know anything when it comes to different types of plants, trees, and landscaping in general.   So I was sweating big time this morning.

HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 4 Cast with Host David Bromstad
Arriving to the 'set' we realize the 8 of us are split into 2 houses across the street from each other.  Hilari, Mikel, Stanley & I are working with the Mast family, and Danielle, Miera, Rachel & Kris at the Nitzkin home.  In each house two designers would work on redesigning the living room and the other two would work on reinventing the outdoor space.  These groups were pre determined for us, and right away the producers let us know that Mikel and I could not work together again. Shoot... I could see that one coming.  Mikel gave me a quick look as if to say, "Brit, you know I'm not working outdoors with these hands."... or something along those lines.  I looked at Stanley and he gave me a reassuring look and let me know he has had three years of landscaping design experience. SOLD.  I know what looks great outdoors, just not what the right materials are to use, or how to build it, so Stanley filled in my gaps with those qualities and I we signed up for what I hoped would be a memorable collaboration.

HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 4 Mast House "Dream Team"- Britany, Hilari, Stanley, Mikel
The purpose of the challenge was to create an environment to bring the outdoors in and the indoors out.  So it was really important for our house to work together as a team and really create cohesive spaces.  What they didn't show on TV was that each house/team had a lump sum budget, and and it was up to the teams to figure out together how much each space would need.  This is the very reason why HGTV doesn't need to 'create' drama for Design Star.  Give us designers a very limited time frame to transform a huge space, AND make them divide up and manage money between four designers.  Things can go very very wrong.  Luckily our team was very much drama free, and we knew that we all had to work well together as a group in order to come out on top in this challenge.  After seeing how a bad partnership can derail you and even send you home, like in the case of Luca and Bex from last week, we wanted to end this challenge holding hands and singing kumbaya  if we needed to in order to stay in the competition.

HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode Backyard BEFORE
HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 4 Backyard BEFORE
Stanley and I quickly came up with a game plan for our space and addressed the needs of our clients who wanted to get rid of the concrete jungle feel, gain more privacy from their neighbors, and have a great entertaining space.  It was really important for me to show the judges what I am capable of as a designer, and surprise them with a space that they wouldn't expect me to do.  But I was really worried that building a herringbone privacy fence, a cabana, and laying wood on the patio was taking on too much for our 3 day time frame. 

HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 4 Britany and Stanley
 A lot of really funny moments didn't make the cut for this episode.  The first being the absolute chaos that was our Target shopping trip.  The 8 of us designers had a large sum of money as group to spend at Target, but only 45 minutes to do it in.  All of us were running around like crazy people and grabbing anything and everything we thought we could use in our spaces.  There was even a scuffle between Stanley and Kris over a BBQ, that I had to quickly squash with a very mature game of paper, rock, scissors.  I also wished they would have shown Stanley and I at the nursery.  The first day we went shopping for all the greenery that we needed, which really meant I point at a plant I think is cute and Stanley would tell me if it would work or not. Stanley was like a kid in a candy store.  He would grab palette after palette of flowers for us to buy with the biggest, most childlike smile I have ever seen.  He was officially in his element, and seeing this buff guy in a black beater tank top walking around like a giddy school girl with flats of flowers was hysterical.  A not so funny moment however was our handyman.  They only showed a glimpse of this issue in the episode, but apparently our handyman was everything but helpful to Stanley and his projects.  He made so many bad cuts for the herringbone wall, and Stanley ended up working twice as hard fixing the mistakes the handyman was making.  At one point I heard one of the camera men say, "what should I do if Stanley punches the handyman in the face?!"  Not good. 

When it came to the camera challenges this week, all of  us struggled with what project we would use to bring the outdoors in or indoors out in 30 seconds.  One night at the house during the competition Hilari was writing her camera challenge and I asked her to read it to me.  It was then that she admitted to me her only idea to bring the outdoors in was to 'light a candle in your favorite outdoor scent.'  We began to laugh hysterically at what a desperate attempt we were all making for our camera challenges, because we knew we were going to have to come up with something better.  Our final tips for the camera challenge were all very lack luster, and last night we texted each other poking fun at all of our not so fabulous ideas.

In the last hour of the challenge Stanley and I realized we might have been in over our heads.  All of the producers and camera men on set had gathered around our tiny backyard to watch what they thought might be the demise of Stanley and I in this competition.  But we knew we had to finish, and even if we didn't get to finish all the projects we wanted to, we were going to make it look like we had.  And luckily with no time to spare, Stanley and I had finished an epic backyard challenge.  I was so proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone and taking on such a huge challenge in the backyard.  And I don't think I could have done it without Stanley as a partner.

HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 4 Backyard AFTER

HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 4 Backyard AFTER- Herringbone Privacy Fence

HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 4 Backyard AFTER Pergola Seating Area
HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 4 Backyard AFTER- Pergola Details

HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 4 Backyard AFTER- Reclaimed Wood Decking

HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 4 Backyard AFTER- Deck Details

In the end our house won the challenge with Hilari being the big winner.  Hilari & Mikel's living room was gorgeous and a big transformation  Our guest judge Sabrina Soto loved all of Hilari's contributions to the living room space and was impressed most by her camera challenge this week.  So I found myself in second place again this week, but I was absolutely happy with that.  I continued to tell myself that slow and steady can win this race!  Miera and Danielle found themselves at the bottom because of their unfinished living room.  Miera had said the famous last words of , "trust me, I know what I am doing," And in the end her semi custom built ins were a time sucker leaving nothing completed and sending her home.

HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 4 Judges- Vern Yip, Sabrina Soto, David Bromstad, Genevieve Gorder
HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 4 Hilari & Mikel's Winning Living Room Space
Tune in next week as we each create a lounge space for Hollywood's 125th Birthday! And remember to vote for me as your FAN FAVORITE at http://www.hgtv.com/design-star-fan-vote


Monday, June 18, 2012

FUN WITH PAINT COLORS- ARIZONA MIDDAY

On Arizona Midday channel 12 today I am talking about picking paint colors.  Here in Arizona we have an over abundance of beige painted homes... inside & out.  I'm going to give you some new color ideas to try out (say NO to beige).... and show you how to create a mood using darker tones and colors, as well as punching up those neutrals for those of you who aren't quite ready to commit to color on your walls.

DARK & MOODY... perfect for a cozy workspace or den.  For my base color I selected a dark grey, but you can go as dark as black to really turn up the drama in your space:


DARK & COLORFUL... great for an intimate bedroom.  Teal is a good base color used to pop additional accent colors with like fuchsia and orange.  Paired with neutral furniture and linens, its a color combination easy enough for even the most color timid clients:


BRIGHT & WELCOMING... this trendy yet classic yellow & grey combination is perfect for both a country or contemporary kitchen or dining area:


COLORFUL & REFRESHING... mint green is so popular right now.  It's a perfect color to use in any space if you prefer to use more neutral accents and furniture.  This mint green is the perfect bedroom color scheme with crisp whites, gold accents and hints of coral or brown hues:


DARK NEUTRAL... if your afraid of committing to color on the walls, this darker neutral tone is a great backdrop for punches of color.  It's traditional with a bold twist:


LIGHT NEUTRAL... better known as beige.  Yes, I know I am suggesting colors to use other than beige, but I wanted to show how you can spice up those bland walls with more contrast and color.  Use color in your draperies, area rug & throw pillows to take 'boring beige' to a more contemporary look:


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

HGTV DESIGN STAR EPISODE 3 RECAP

I woke up on the first day of challenge 3 with what had become my 'typical' anxious/nervous/excited feeling in my stomach.  Every muscle in my body still sore from the last challenge, and my mind still replaying the judges critiques at the evaluation from last night.  For you viewers, it would appear that we do one challenge a week for Design Star... no siree, there is no rest for the weary when it comes to filming a television show.  Our schedule looks a little something like this... morning call time typically begins at 6 am which involves us being dressed and ready to go for the day.  We head to our challenge and begin designing/working... the work day ends somewhere around 6-7pm and then we head home.  Occasionally, there is some 'night reality' at the house for another 30 minutes to an hour discussing our day as a group at the house.  Rinse & repeat for 1 to 2 more days depending on the particular time frame of the challenge.  The day after a completed challenge we get up early for one-on-one interviews with our producer to discuss our experience during the challenge.  (This is what is used as commentary for the episode.)  After 3-4 hours of interview, we change at the studio and get ready for a VERY long and extensive evaluation with the judges.  Only about 15 minutes of this evaluation actually makes it into the show but we are actually individually critiqued by each judge on our 3 main contributions to our spaces.  You quickly learn that you've got to not only be quick on your feet when it comes to design ideas, but also be someone that can function well off of very little sleep, and a diet of crafty snacks and red bull.

Rachel and I chose to be roommates in the house together after the first challenge and we stayed up all night trying to come up with ideas on what crazy challenge HGTV had in store for us next.  After the traditional challenges of our house remodel and the iconic White Room, I had no idea what to expect for challenge 3.  What I did know was that just being 'safe' so far in the competition was started to mess with my head a little and I was going to need to step it up somehow to stand out above the rest.  After some 'morning reality' at the house we were all loaded into the vans and headed towards what appeared to be our main production studio in Sherman Oaks.

David Bromstad with guest judge Kris Kardashian Jenner
We arrive in designers lounge at the studio to meet up with David for our new challenge reveal. He lets us know that we are designing a space for a busy Mom that people have trouble 'keeping up with'.  My jaw literally dropped to the floor when I found out we were designing the new office space for Kris Jenner and the Jenner/Kardashian family.  I watch their reality show 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' and part of that reason is because I am absolutely obsessed with the style of their homes, which are designed by the incredible Jeff Andrews. Everything about their spaces scream hollywood glamour, which is my favorite design style.  And talk about a major connections...if I can impress Kris Kardashian Jenner my design networking opportunities could be incredible! I was quickly brought back to reality when David let us know this week would be a double elimination.  Two people going home is double the pressure.  We also learned it was another partnered challenge and I was praying that I wasn't paired up with Luca or Miera for this one because, well, you know, they aren't the easiest to work with. Thankfully the design Gods blessed me by partnering Mikel and I together again.  We were assigned the task of designing the conference room, which is not typically the most 'interesting' room of an office, so we were going to have to find a way to really make our space unique and not your typical meeting space.  Mikel aka 'Mary Poppins' and I became really close from the start and work really well as a team, so we were SO thrilled to be working together again on this one.

HGTV Design Star Season 7 Episode 3 Cast
On the drive over to the office space, I came up with the 3D mirrored wall treatment for our space.  I know how much Kris Jenner loves mirrors in her space at home, and I wanted to make sure her conference room space reflected on an extension of her home, in a bigger, bolder, and unexpected way. Each team had 5 minutes to meet one on one with Kris, and I was anxious to not only meet her, but find out what her must haves for the space were.  Let me tell you, Kris is even more beautiful in person than she is on TV, and as soon as you meet her you can tell right away that she is a very sweet and caring soul.  You also got the sense that she was really pulling for all of us to do well, not only because she wanted a great office space, but because she knew how much this competition means for all of us designers. As soon as Kris confirmed with me that she "never meet a mirror she didn't like", I knew my mirrored wall would probably be her favorite element in the space.

HGTV Design Star Episode 3 Kris Kardashian  Jenner Communications Conference Room BEFORE
Britany Simon & Mikel Welch HGTV Design Star Episode 3 Conference Room
Britany Simon, Mikel Welch and David Bromstad HGTV Design Star Episode 3 Camera Challenge
Britany Simon & Mikel Welch HGTV Design Star Episode 3 Conference Room
Once the clock started on our challenge, the drama began!  Mikel & I closed ourselves off at the end of the hallway in our conference room hoping to escape.  From our space all we could hear was Bex & Luca arguing, Hilari & Danielle freaking out, and Miera reprimanding Kris for who knows what.  I remember thinking, oh boy, this is going to be interesting.  Mikel & I got through the challenge with no real hiccups to speak of, which probably explains the little face time we had on this episode.  After watching this episode last night it was clear HGTV wanted to highlight the drama more than the design process this time.  I was impressed with how well all the designers spaces turned out despite all of the time spent on bickering between eachother.  At first glace of the spaces, I couldn't tell who the clear winner or loser was, and was anxious but confident about heading into evaluation and learning my fate.

Britany Simon & Mikel Welch HGTV Design Star Episode 3 Conference Room
Britany Simon & Mikel Welch HGTV Design Star Episode 3 Conference Room
Britany Simon & Mikel Welch HGTV Design Star Episode 3 Conference Room
Britany Simon HGTV Design Star Episode 3 Conference Room- Britany's Chandelier and Custom Window Treatments

Britany Simon & Mikel Welch HGTV Design Star Episode 3 Conference Room
Britany Simon HGTV Design Star Episode 3 Custom 3D Mirror Wall
At evaluation I learned that my 3D mirror wall was one Kris, Genevieve and Vern's favorite element of the entire office.  It was exactly the confidence booster I needed, and our team ended up in 2nd place this week.  I was happy to not just fall into the 'safe' category for this challenge again, and hoped to continue moving my way up in the rank!  Stanley took home the win this week with his 'tennis bracelet' mirror installation, and a most improved camera challenge.  Stanley and Rachel were paired together in Kris Jenner's office, and I questioned if Stanley should have truly won the challenge.  I think the standout elements in Kris' office were the window arches, wallpaper, and sofa selections, which were all done by Rachel.  But I believe the judges didn't want her to totally dominate the first three episodes, so they had to share the love a little.  It was a double elimination, and Luca was the first eliminated.  You could tell by the lack of reaction in the designer lounge how we all felt about him going home.  Luca was a bully without the design skills to back it up, and it was definitely his time to go.  Bex was also eliminated, which unfortunately I think was mainly collateral damage from being partnered with Luca.  I can't imagine how hard it was to come up with much of anything design wise being a part of that team, let alone creating a space that would stand out above the rest.
Bex Hale & Luca Paganico HGTV Design Star Episode 3 Eliminated Designers

Tune in next week when we are all paired up again for an indoor/outdoor challenge with guest judge Sabrina Soto!  And don't forget to go online and vote for me as your HGTV Design Star Fan Favorite at http://www.hgtv.com/design-star-fan-vote/package/index.html

Also, inspired by my 3D mirrored wall, HGTV put together this How-To video to show you how you can create a similar mirror at home!




Wednesday, June 6, 2012

HGTV DESIGN STAR EPISODE 2 RECAP

My heart stopped.  Our van's pulled up to Union Station & I knew it only meant one thing...this week's episode was the White Room Challenge.   The most iconic Design Star challenge and better known as the one that "the fans love, but the designers dread."  This particular challenge is typically the one and only space that doesn't have to be 'functional'.  Ironically... that is what scared me the most about this challenge.  As interior designers we are constantly concerned about creating spaces that are both beautiful and functional, and for me it's hard to try and forget about that for this space.  I knew that a few of the other finalists in this competition call themselves artists first, designers second, and they were probably going to have more of a leg up in this particular challenge.  I decided to stick with what I know... and that is to create a beautiful space, and not concentrate too much on trying to create an art installation and hope that I'd survive.



Our challenge took place in the Historic Union Station in Los Angeles, and the main element we were asked to focus on for our White Room was to re-purpose one of the existing furniture pieces that was already in our space.  I was immediately inspired by the beautiful architecture and the mood of the location.  My plan for my white room was an updated red, white and blue color palette paired with newspapers for wallpaper along with applied moldings for the walls to bring a total 'nod' to the historic mood of the location. My main re-purposed element would be the lamp and side table top turned upside down and transformed into a bold eye catching chandelier using yards upon yards of gold chain from the Home & Garden store.


Shopping at the Home & Garden store was insane, it was like Hunger Games meets Supermarket Sweep.  And after a painstakingly long check out process, we all headed back to Union Station to get to work. Unfortunately, the first thing you learn in this competition is that plan A, never, ever, EVER works out. Only after our shopping trip was I informed that if I wanted to use my first idea with the newspapers I would need to cut out or blank out every brand name, store name, newspaper name, or any name of any kind from each page.  Being that we only had about a day to actually work in our space, there wasn't enough time for that kind of nonsense! After some brainstorming and replaying Vanilla Ice's mantra of "if there is a problem, yo, I'll solve it" in my head... I landed upon plan E, which consisted of me using painters tape for an 'applied molding' look on my massive 10ft walls in order to add some architecture and my signature graphic style into my blank white space.




Those silly HGTV producers wanted to make things even more interesting for us designers...our 'Tool Town' area that is set up for all of us to use each episode was placed in the least convenient location humanly possible.  Every time you needed a ladder, a hammer, a drill, forgot a nail, or your painters tape you had to walk (or jog for most of us) out of union station, around the massive building and across the parking lot to the tool area.  This challenge quickly turned into the longest most exasperating cardiovascular workout I have ever done.  Ultimately, this was the most physically demanding yet rewarding design challenge I have ever done.  I was really proud of my final space & was looking forward to what Vern & Genevieve were going to think of it at evaluation.



Our guest judge this week was Vanilla Ice, which was an awesome surprise.  I remember immediately thinking that my brother was going to think I am the coolest sister in the world for getting the chance to meet him.  Back in the 90's Vanilla Ice was the coolest rapper known to man to my brother and I and we listened to him on repeat for what felt like a decade.  Mr. Vanwinkle (that's his real name) is also very well known for his own show on the DIY network, the Vanilla Ice Project.  He made quite a name for himself in the renovating and house flipping business!  I was looking forward to what kind of feedback he was going to give us at evaluation.  In the end... I found myself safe again this week.  The judges love my space but wished I had pushed it just a little  bit further.  I was definitely relieved but also a bit disappointed being that my goal is always to be at the top every week.  But slow & steady wins the race, and I am going to keep my eyes set on the finish line.  Rachel took home the win again this week with her incredible hand painted wall graphic and great layering of prints.  Jordan was sent home, which in my opinion wasn't the right choice from the judges.  I liked his glamaZEN space, and thought he deserved to stay in the competition.

 Rachel Kate's Winning Design- Her wall graphic was INCREDIBLE

Jordan Cappella was sent home for his GlamaZEN Garden- Love you Jordan, you will be missed!!! 

Watch next week when we makeover the corporate office for Jenner Communications with Kris Jenner in Calabasas, CA!  Also don't forget to go online to http://www.hgtv.com/design-star-fan-vote/package/index.html to vote for me as you Fan Favorite!!